Ridesharing Is Now Legal at Las Vegas Airport: My Experience, Where to Meet the Drivers & Costs Compared to Taxis

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uber vegas airport costs

Lyft Operating at McCarran International Airport

Yesterday afternoon Lyft finally got the clearance to operate at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. They have been operating within Las Vegas for just over a month, but it took time for the airport to build the infrastructure and for the county to create regulations. That is done and Lyft is now open for business. I am sure Uber will follow shortly.

Uber & Lyft will both operate under strict rules while at the airport. There will be a surcharge added to your bill and they can only pickup passengers in specific areas. I was able to obtain some helpful information regarding these rules & thought I would create a little guide to help on your next arrival.

Where Uber & Lyft Can Pick You Up

uber vegas airport costs
The terminal 3 pickup area is all the way to the left on the Valet level.

If you call a Lyft (or Uber when they begin) then you will need to meet the driver at one of these two specific areas depending on the terminal you arrive in. I am sure this can be quite simple or very complicated depending on how busy the airport is and how many passengers are trying to find their driver. “Ride share” signs are apparently being installed to direct passengers to these pickup areas. I didn’t see any installed yet, but this should get easier as time goes on.

Quick local tip: If you don’t have baggage and arrive in the Terminal 1 “D” gates, you can take the red line to Terminal 3 which is a lot less crowded.

Terminal 1 Pickup Area: Level 2M of the Public Parking Garage

uber vegas airport costs
Where Lyft will pick you up. I’m sure Uber will operate in a similar area.

Terminal 3 Pickup Area: Valet level of the parking garage. (2nd story.)

uber vegas airport costs

Rules for Pickups & Drop Offs

uber vegas airport costs
The staging area sits conveniently between the two terminals meaning your driver should get to the meeting spot within about 5 minutes or less!

The airport has put in place a number of strict rules for pickups and drop offs. Among them are:

  • Passengers cannot be picked up at Arrivals.
  • Drivers cannot wait in an area outside of the staging lot for you if you are delayed.
  • Passengers can be dropped off at the departures area for their airline.
  • Drivers must be in the staging lot to get a request for a ride. This means that they should always be able to meet you within 4-5 minutes, making this a very convenient option.
  • Drivers cannot solicit passengers or pickup people outside of the ridesharing app.
  • Drivers cannot accept cash from passengers.

My Pickup Experience

I arrived at McCarran at about 8pm last night on American Airlines. Like I mentioned above, I took the red line from the “D” gates to Terminal 3, which was almost abandoned at this time of night. Once I cleared baggage claim I popped open the Lyft app and requested a ride. The driver quickly called me and explained that I needed to go to the valet level.

Neither he nor I knew exactly where that was (this was his very first airport pickup), but I found the area at the same time he pulled up! We talked a bit as he drove me to the Hyatt Place to pickup my car. My key takeaways from the conversation were that about 75% of drivers are working for both Uber & Lyft and that there are a TON of drivers on the streets in Vegas now.

Costs

The cost of my Lyft ride yesterday.
The cost of my Lyft ride yesterday.

When you compare the cost of Uber & Lyft with what taxis charge, you quickly see they aren’t much cheaper at all. In the example of my ride, the Lyft cost $13.34. Using the information below, I believe a taxi would have been about $13.50. Let’s compare the various charges between Vegas taxis and Uber/Lyft.

Base charge
  • Uber/Lyft: $2.40
  • Taxi $3.30
Cost Per Mile
  • Uber/Lyft: $1.85
  • Taxi: $2.60
Cost Per Minute
  • Uber/Lyft: $.30 (cost even when vehicle is moving.)
  • Taxi: $.50 (only when below 8-12 MPH)
Airport Pickup Fee
  • Uber/Lyft: $2.45
  • Taxi: $1.80
Other Fees
  • Taxi: Debit/Credit $3
  • Lyft: Trust & Safety $1.55
  • Uber: Safe Rides Fee $1.00

Conclusion

Lyft is now operating at McCarran International Airport with Uber soon to follow. While ridesharing will be a more convenient way to get around, it isn’t cheap in Vegas. Prices are very similar to what you will get with a taxi, which means with surges you could be paying a whole lot more! Even so, more competition is a good thing and hopefully this will drive prices down in the end.

If you have never used Uber or Lyft, you can get $20 off your first ride by using someone’s referral. Every user has one and you can find mine here if you are interested.

Do you plan to use Uber/Lyft from the airport on your next Vegas trip? Let me know in the comments!


This post may contain referral, affiliate or sponsor links that provide Miles to Memories compensation. Thank you for your support.

54 COMMENTS

  1. If Uber and Lyft do nothing else but stop LAS taxis from trying to longhaul it’ll be worth it even at price parity.

  2. I wish I had seen this earlier today. Just this very afternoon I got scammed by a taxi after arriving at LAS. I should have spoken up for myself as I knew it was happening. Argh!

    • Does this really say 12 cents per mile fuel surcharge? At what point do the police get called to arrest these thieves? Fuel hasn’t been this low in a decade!! And these these thieving rats wonder why nobody likes them.

  3. I’m going to try them tomorrow morning from Ceasars to the airport. It cost us $36 (2 people) from the airport.

      • Yes you can use the Uber/Lyft app from anywhere in Las Vegas including the strip. However, there are specifically designated areas for ride sharing for pick-up and drop-off at the hotel/casinos which should be clearly indicated on the app. However, these locations may not be where you think they should be (i.e. not at the main entrance). Wait times should be minimal.

        • Yes I noticed they have updated the apps with dropdowns for pickup areas. I also noticed this weekend where the pickup areas were at places like Aria and Palazzo. Good to see ridesharing fully implemented across the city now.

  4. Took a taxi from the airport to monte carlo. Came to $30 with the tip. I dont see how this is as same as uber. Uber all the way, I think

  5. The easy way to see if uber/lyft iis worth the ride compared to a taxi fare is use taxifarefinder in las vegas. The from & to option will break down the fares for the taxi fare. The same applies when you want to calculate the uber/lyft fares. I live 9.3 miles from mccarran airport. Taxi- approximately $41.00, lyft $22.00 (not including the tip).

  6. will arrive in Las Vegas on July 5 at 1030AM Spirit and way to the hotel Tuscany Suite Hotel (2 blocks from the Paris Hotel)). How much cost for 2 passengers to ride from airport to Tuscany Hotel?

  7. You can catch a WAX or CX bus from the airport for $2. Check the routes they go in the vicinity of the some of the hotels. Safe and cheap travel. Minimal stops, not a regular city bus.

  8. we’ll be heading to the vegas next week! If I am already an uber user is the promo code still available?? It wants me to sign up for an account when I click on your link

    thanks!!

  9. This is really wonderful going back and reading this article.
    Since it was written, Uber has begun picking up at the airport (started December 8).
    The biggest change, however, is the price drop.
    Going from old price on the left, to the new price on the right:
    Base Fare: 2.40 – 1.50
    Per Mile: 1.85 – .90
    Per Minute: .30 – .15
    Booking Fee: 1.50 – 1.70
    Airport Pickup fee is still 2.45
    So, your airport ride would now cost about $7.57 !!
    Wow! That’s fantastic!

    • Yeah I have covered the price drops in separate articles, but you are right that things have dropped substantially. Good for consumers, but I know the drivers like to complain about it!

  10. One of the greatest things about the rideshare apps is the Ride Review feature. I was actually longhauled from LAS to the Luxor on a Lyft ride a few trips back, and with one press on the button, Lyft reviewed the ride and refunded my fare in under an hour. You cannot get that kind of response with a cab company.

  11. This is really helpful…thank u for putting this up.. I used Uber pickup from terminal 3 of airport. Just as an update, Uber Lyft drivers do pickups from level V which is vallet parking/ride sharing area. One can take elevator from any level of parking to level V..so please ask/look for that..

    • Their prices are basically the same in Vegas right now. Uber will give you a price up front and guarantee it which makes things nicer to understand when surge pricing is in effect, but their per miles and other charges are basically copies of each other.

  12. Beware, I had a Lyft driver longhaul me from the MGM Grand to the airport today. Used the freeway and added almost six miles to my trip. I spoke up and he gave me the usual traffic excuse. Google maps showed there was no traffic on Tropicana and Paradise at the time. So, looks like some ride share drivers are pulling the same scams as the taxis in Vegas. I reported it to Lyft and they refunded enough of the fare to make the price what it would have been if he went the correct route.

    • That is the great thing about Lyft/Uber. At least there is accountability and a map. It is easy to prove they “took you for a ride” and to get a refund. With taxis you don’t really have the same opportunity, but I agree it is still frustrating.

    • Yeah it is getting easier all of the time but be prepared for surge pricing during peak times. Almost all of the hotels have designated pickup areas now which makes it nice and easy.

  13. This is a great article but being an Uber/Lyft driver in Las Vegas I will tell you that most drivers are honest and do not try to long haul you. The prices are very reasonable for what you get here in Vegas. I am sorry but the taxi’s here are dirty and lack maintenance. I see several a day that the lights don’t work and they sound like they are ready to fall apart. Customers need to realize that we as drivers maintain and keep our vehicles a lot cleaner and better maintained. I personally think you will have a safer better ride and better experience with Uber/Lyft. Just please remember these are for the most part our personal vehicles and we do pay for fuel , maintenance , license plates and insurance and we also have to have a business license for the state and county. We are our own company so to speak. I would hope that most customers do understand that and know that we are not getting the full fair either. So please make sure to take that into consideration when tipping your drivers. You will find out that Uber/Lyft drivers are far cheaper than a taxi will cost you in Las Vegas.

  14. Are you still able to help get free ride? I had already installed the app and launched before seeing this article. I would like to get my first ride free from the airport to my hotel, though…Is it too late?

  15. How much is it from LAS airport to planet hollywood casino for 2 people? Rates, fares total price. I have never used UBER, LYFT or TAXI’S in Las Vegas. I have only used the Shuttle service from airport to casino/resorts? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Terry. It should be about $10-$15. You can download the ride sharing apps and get a quote in app for the airport to your hotel before you arrive. Just make sure you don’t actually request a ride.

  16. I will be using uber for the first time ever, I’m hoping someone would know the cost to the extendedstay america hotel on S Maryland st near the children’s hospital. From the airport. From the airport.

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